The largest study of its kind is strengthening the link between football and the brain disorder CTE. The study in the Annals of Neurology finds that every year of playing football increases the risk of CTE by 30 percent. Among those with a CTE diagnosis, the risk of severe symptoms doubles with every 5.3 years of football. And those with the longest careers, who play more than 14.5 years, have a risk of CTE that’s 10 times higher.

MEDICAL NOTES 19-45


Medical notes this week…

The largest study of its kind is strengthening the link between football and the brain disorder CTE. The study in the Annals of Neurology finds that every year of playing football increases the risk of CTE by 30 percent. Among those with a CTE diagnosis, the risk of severe symptoms doubles with every 5.3 years of football. And those with the longest careers, who play more than 14.5 years, have a risk of CTE that’s 10 times higher. However, it’s far from a sure thing. Some players with more than 15 years on the field have no evidence of CTE at all.

Speaking of football injuries…cortisone injections are common among athletes to mask pain. They’re also used for everyday people who have symptoms of osteoarthritis. But a new study in the journal Radiology shows that complications due to cortisone shots are much more common than previously thought. People who receive hip injections have complications 10 percent of the time, including stress fractures, a progression of their arthritis, and even a collapse of the joint. Those getting cortisone in the knees suffer complications about four percent of the time.

And finally, another study is proving that dog owners live longer. A study in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes finds that people who own a dog are 24 percent less likely to die of any cause compared to non-dog owners. And 31 percent less likely to die of a heart attack or a stroke. The benefits are even greater for people who live alone and have already had a heart attack or stroke.


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